Portsmouth, VA

A Tradition of Honor - A Legacy of Action


On behalf of the officers and crew of SENECA, welcome aboard!

Cutter SENECA is home ported at Base Portsmouth, 4000 Coast Guard BLVD, Portsmouth, Virginia. Located in the commonwealth of Virginia, SENECA moors within a short distance of such landmarks as the Old Towne Historic District, the Pass House, and the Railroad Museum of Virginia.

Welcome Aboard Message & Your Sponsor

You should receive your welcome aboard message in your inbox within a week for getting your PCS orders. If you have not received your message after two weeks, please email the ship's Yeoman. Your sponsor will assist you and make your move as smooth as possible. Feel free to contact your sponsor at any time during the reporting process. If you're not able to reach your sponsor, the ship's Yeoman is your next contact. Housing E-4 and above, including E-2 - E3 with dependents, reporting to the Greater Portsmouth area must obtain a "Release from Assignment to Government Housing" from the local Housing Office before procuring housing in the civilian sector. Government owned quarters are available for members with dependents upon completion of housing documentation. To request a release from government housing or to request government housing, complete form DD-1746 and return the form to Portsmouth’s Local Housing Office. The housing office can be reached at 757-686-4081. Include a copy of your orders and Direct Access generated BAH/Dependency Data (see your local Yeoman) if you have dependents. If you have any questions for our local housing office, they can be contacted between the hours of 0600-1530 Monday through Friday. All single members, E-3 and below, will reside in Base Barracks once fully qualified and do not need to complete a release from housing form. Parking at Base Portsmouth is limited near the piers. Your sponsor can assist with any questions you may have with transportation. Life aboard SENECA offers great opportunities, but also demands significant personal commitment. Your tour aboard SENECA will be a rewarding and worthwhile experience, in an environment that will allow you to achieve your professional goals. Again, welcome aboard, and we look forward to you joining our top-notch crew.

Reporting Onboard While Homeport

Personnel shall report to the quarterdeck and ask for the Officer of the Day (OOD) or sponsor no later than 2400 on your assigned report date. The uniform for reporting onboard is Tropical Blue (with combination cover) during April - October, and Service Dress Blue (with combination cover) during November and March.

While Underway

If SENECA is underway report to Base Portsmouth Administration during normal work hours. If you report after the work day, report to the Base OOD (base security will direct you to the appropriate building). Your sponsor or ship's yeoman will be in contact with you if you are meeting the ship in a port other than Portsmouth. Base OOD can be contacted at 757-646-2815.

Crossing the Brow

When crossing the brow, proper honors will be rendered to the national ensign and the quarterdeck. Uniformed personnel will face aft and salute the ensign (if it is flying), then turn and salute the quarterdeck. Upon departing the ship, the procedure is reversed; salute the quarterdeck, then the ensign. Personnel in civilian attire should stop and face aft in respect for the ensign, but do not salute. Proper etiquette also calls for no horseplay, eating, drinking, wearing earphone, or wearing hats while crossing the brow. The brow is secured from first call to colors and opened after colors. On board, salutes shall be dispensed with after the first daily meeting, EXCEPT for those rendered to the Commanding Officer (CO) and officers senior to the CO. Underway, when the CO enters or leaves the bridge, the first person to see him will sound off “Captain on the bridge” or “Captain below” as appropriate, and all personnel on the bridge will salute.

Typical SA/SN Job Assignments

“Deckies” are assigned to the deck division. The first six months for a SA/SN reporting aboard will be a busy and exciting time. Underway, deckies participate in all deck evolutions under supervision of the Boatswain’s Mate. They are responsible for handling mooring lines, anchoring the ship, raising and lowering the ship’s small boats, steering the cutter, and upkeep of SENECA’s exterior. SA/SN will qualify underway on helm and lookout and in-port security watch standing.

Typical FA/FN Job Assignments

After your check-in process is completed, you will be assigned to either the Main Propulsion Division (“Main Prop”) or the Auxiliary Division (“A-gang”) where you will begin the qualification process while you assist your assigned division with the daily work routine. Engineers are responsible for maintaining and repairing systems within and outside of the engine room, ship fueling, aviation fueling, and small boat maintenance, among other important tasks. As a FA/FN, you will qualify as a security watch stander in port and underway. Other Typical E2/E3 Assignments Within 4-6 months, all E2 and E3 personnel are required to complete basic and advanced DCPQS, in-port security, and qualifications in their respective divisions. Underway, break-in (i.e. unqualified) personnel can expect to stand two 4-hour watches each day until qualified. In-port security break-ins will be on a 1 in 3 duty rotation standing two 4-hour watches, meaning they will be required to stay on the ship once every three days and stand two watches on their duty day.

Finally, all nonrated personnel will be required to help the galley by serving as mess cooks on a rotating basis. Mess cooking is an opportunity to help maintain crew health and happiness and is usually done for two weeks to one month at a time.

Ratings Represented

BM, DC, EM, ET, FS, GM, HS, IT, IS, ME, MK, OS, SK, and YN. On some deployments, we will work with aviation rates (AMT, AET). Non-rates are welcomed and encouraged to speak with petty officers to learn about various rates and jobs.

And once again welcome aboard!